Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

talks of circadian rhythm

February 12, 2019

I’m apparently going to be up now. I’ve been up for a little over an hour, it’s now 532am. I don’t know why I woke up when I did, I only had a little over four hours of sleep at the time, but I did. It was that hard, snap awake. The kind you know you’re not going to recover from. so I just got up. checked on the kids. Took the dog out. Somehow ate an hour away like that. For waking up so early, I feel like I’ve already lost time today.

Feels like I just lose time every day lately. Try to move forward, take two steps back. Keep having appointments pop up and they are never for the time I thought they were. It feels like everyone is just randomly changing appointment times on me, but I know I probably just wrote the wrong time down on the calendar.

Had to make decaf this morning because the wife is working from home. Caffeine is like gasoline for her. She has it in the morning, she says it keeps her up in the evening. Can’t sleep. I don’t understand it, really. I think I’ve just inured myself to it. The caffeine, that is. I go through a pot of it most days. I think it picks me up at the time. I think. But it definitely doesn’t keep me up nights.

Listening to REM right now.  About to sign out of this. Maybe take a shower. Had to look up the meaning of inured. I put it down without thinking and worried I didn’t know what it actually meant. I knew it, though. Oddly reassuring. Maybe update later with a real update. I even have pictures, if I can figure out how to put them into these things.

If not, have a good day folks.


corn fritters

February 11, 2019

More notes from the funeral a week ago. We took a substantial amount of food from the in-laws, mostly sides that we later discovered only I would eat (my wife hates onions, The Boy hates everything outside of four staples – pizza, tuna melts, pizza, and Arby’s, and The Girl is four. She eats like four year olds which is just mercurial and odd).

This included a massive foil tub of corn, I assumed canned, that looked to be dumped into the tin, heated up, and plopped on the table. Yeah, it was pretty plain. I’m not a huge fan of plain corn, though The Girl, embracing her fourness, pouted to school on morning because she really liked corn and really wanted corn. She got corn later.

A four year old only eats so much corn, though. I had to find something for it. I hit upon a recipe for corn fritters, which I altered a bit, but not really enough to share either fully as my own or as someone else’s. The basics of the batter was 3-1-1 with three parts corn kernals to one part milk and one part flour. The consistency turned out well, and if I make more fritters, I’d probably start with a similar ratio to go along with whatever I’m chucking in with it.

They turned out a bit bland. We didn’t think of this going in, but we did think that the fritters wouldn’t be enough of a meal for the wife and I so we also microwaved a packet of this dal bhakara (black lentil curry). I don’t get anything for clicking on the amazon link, btw, it’s just the first thing I found with what we used. It provided the right amount of spice to make the fritters really palatable.

It ended up being a decent little meal, and it used up the majority of the leftover corn. Which was oddly important to me. For whatever reason, being given this food that was leftover from the funeral felt like something that needed to be used and not just thrown away. That there was something a bit extra to this that needed to not be wasted. It was nice finding a way of using up the majority of the corn before it just aged itself out and had to be tossed.

Trying to keep a dot journal

February 8, 2019

Since the beginning of February I’ve been trying to keep a better day to day account of my life. Once, long ago, I had the wholly unrealistic thought that this blog would do that, but it was just such a time suck that I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t update every day. Then it became stressful because there were the eventual days where there just wasn’t enough to say to warrant a blog post. So, I’d sit and stare at this empty box, trying to find something to fill it with and not succeeding. It was lousy.

But I still feel the need to try to keep some account of my life, just as a way of seeing where I am at, where I have been, and the steps I take every day to try to get to where  I want to end up. Also, it’s just kind of nice to have a list every day for what I did. Too often it feels as if nothing happened, that the day was just totally wasted, even if I did do something, like five loads of laundry, making dinner, getting the kids to/from whatever they have going on, etc.

What gave  me a push for this is that my wife has been keeping one for over a year now. It’s this big, crazy thing with all sorts of lists, and drawings, and I don’t know what all. It’s something way too ambitious for me, but I liked the freedom of the form without pre-printed lines, boxes, headings, etc.  The dots make it easy to create my own boxes and whatever, to find whatever form I need to fit my needs.

I’m still finding my way with this thing. I want to add a section to start doing weekly menus. I don’t know how other folks are, but we tend to have various food stuffs in the kitchen where we have 3/4 of the ingredients for any dish but miss 1/4 of ingredients we most desperately need. My goal is to be able to pare back on the extra food in the kitchen and to cut back on our grocery bills by having more focused needs from week to week.

this sort of planning does not come naturally to me, though. It’s really hard for me to get into this habit and to embrace, though I know it will take a fair amount of stress out of my life. Trying to decide what to do for supper shouldn’t be stressful, it shouldn’t be a big deal, but it becomes one. And then there are a lot of days lately where I just don’t want to fix anything.

Hopefully, I can get into this. And then I will start updating with more home made food successes/failures. Hopefully. Off to do laundry.

So, it was a funeral

February 4, 2019

It was a long weekend of going “home” to a funeral for an in-law’s spouse’s father. Niece was having a tough time of it, the nephew was a bit young to really cadge on to what was happening or the implications of it. Which was probably for the best.

We let The Boy have screens for the weekend, despite his grades, because other kids would have them and making it possible for him to fit in a bit easier takes precedence over enforcing what is a weeks long punishment. He is obscenely bright. Despite his difficulties he routinely tests over the 95th percentile in every subject. But he also refuses to do the work necessary to bring home school grades at all in line with his abilities. We’ve recently started him on some ADHD meds, hoping they help allow him to draw in and do what’s necessary to get better grades.

When he reads something, it just seems to go through his eyes and out his ears. He picks up and remembers a rough sketch of what he read, but he’s unable to readily go beneath that. Give him a question about the reading and his written response is often not answering the question given, but if you ask him verbally he works out the answer. So the answer is there he just has a very difficult time accessing it, I guess. We’re really hoping the meds help with this in some way.

Back to the weekend, though. And his adventure with video games. He has a really tough time handling video games and maintaining the ability to interact with people on a functional level. Something he would disagree strongly with but, well, yeah. We have things like this weekend to offer as counter evidence.

What makes it worse is that one of his favorite games updated recently and he had invested a lot of emotional capital into playing it this weekend. So, any time this investment was threatened the reaction wasn’t pretty. By the end of the weekend he was spending time in his room upset over being told he was being obsessive with his game playing and huffing and blowing around the house when told to put the game system away.

For some reason The Wife was leery of pushing the meds over the weekend. I’m thinking it might have been a mistake, but maybe it wouldn’t have mattered. It’ll be interesting to watch him the next week or so, in and out of school, to see if his behavior noticeably alters with the stuff. We were warned it might not, that these meds might just not do anything, or that the dose might be too small.

To be honest, I am to the point where I sort of just need something to work. The combination of the ADHD/spectrum-y things and just the natural crazy teenagery things he does is just getting too psychologically and emotionally exhausting for me. Especially when his 4 year old sister has been going through a spell lately of her own growth spurt craziness.

on the bright side, we got our camera back this weekend. We forgot it the last time we were up. Look forward to taking more pics.

A Peek Beneath the Lid

February 1, 2019

We have a funeral to go to this weekend. Relation of relation. He’s Catholic, so there’s a lot of stuff going on with the viewing and the burial, a Rosary, a trip to a church for something. As you can tell, I’m not exactly religious. I know we have to go, I’m not sure what’s going on. Not what this post is about, though.

It’s made me wonder what to do with my own funeral. With the funerals of others, if/when they go, that I will have to have an actual hand in. I’m trying to decide if I want any sort of burial at all. A viewing might be okay, some sort of memorial. maybe instead of my corpse, just a big picture and a lot of food for people to drop by and chat for a bit, if they feel up to it. I don’t know.

Also trying to imagine what my mom would want. We don’t have much family alive, neither of us are really religious in any way, or have ever been. So it’s not like there are any rites to perform, any ceremonies we feel an obligation to.

I honestly have an increasingly difficult time feeling as if it matters to me at all. It’s often been told to me that all of this stuff is for the living more than the dead, which seems sort of obvious. I don’t know. in the end, it might just come down to money for a lot of it. not sure I like the idea of a lot of money spend on my funeral in any way. Seems a waste.

Foxconn(ed) Wisconsin

January 30, 2019

And how many people are really surprised? A stupidly sweet tax deal that Wisconsin’s own estimates says they won’t start making a dime on until 2043 entices a company in and ever since the deal has evolved into something different and, arguably, worse for Wisconsinites. Now it’s not even going to be a factory at all. It’s no being referred to as a “technology hub,” what sounds like an R&D park. So, all of those blue collar jobs it was supposed to bring in to help put people in the lower rungs of the economy a leg up? Never going to happen, at least not with Foxconn. These are going to be white collar jobs and while they continue to pay lip service to investing in Wisconsin, hiring a bunch of people, etc. … does anyone expect that to happen? I don’t.

And the reasoning behind the switch screams bullshit. They say the economics have changed and it’s cheaper to build LCD screens overseas. Well, yeah. It was like that five years ago, too. And ten years ago. Ask yourself this, has Apple ever sourced their screens in the US? I don’t think so. That tells you right there that it’s cheaper overseas and has been for quite awhile.

So, why would Foxconn have ever started a factory in the US to build them? They wouldn’t. That’s why there was language in the deal for changing circumstances allowing them to alter their business plans. They dangled 13,000 blue collar jobs in front of Walker, he jumped like a trained dog, and gave them whatever they could ask for.

And now they are taking all of it and doing with the land what they likely wanted to do with it in the first place.

Here’s the thing, if there is money in building a factory to make anything, someone will build it. They don’t need to have their taxes waived for the next 25 years, they don’t need to be allowed to run rampant over EPA regulations, if there is money to be made they will make it happen. If the only want you can get a company to come to your city or state is to bribe the hell out of them, something is wrong.  Figure out why a company needs bribed so much to come in, and fix those issues. And instead of sinking money bribing a company to pack up and move in, use those millions you’re trying to give away to people already there looking to start their own businesses.

Foxconn is going to keep abusing Wisconsin with this deal. Hopefully we’ll finally learn from it.

I hate pants

January 27, 2019

I wear them, but they have been a part of my growing discontent lately. It’s not the fault of the pants, they are all perfectly fine pants. They have two legs, a waist.  They are perfectly fine examples of the garment.

The problem is my less my pants and more my waist line.

I gained weight over the holidays, like nearly everyone. I’ve gained weight since. I don’t know if that’s like nearly everyone.

With that has been the tightening of the pants.

And I’m just frustrated and defeated by it. I have been trying to but back on what I eat, trying to be more active, and I think I’m doing well.

Then I put on my pants.

Then I get on the scale.

Then I just want to take a framing hammer and break things, namely said scale. Maybe the pants,but I don’t think the hammer would really be an effective weapon against their limp go with it defense.

I’ve been overweight for quite awhile. I’ve been trying a bit harder to tackle it over the past five months or so. I made some progress. My obesity has started fighting back. I’;m not orca fat, but I’m definitely overweight. And I’m working on it.

The pants, though. The damn pants.

Blah, bills

January 24, 2019

So, today has been a bit of a  housecleaning day in that I have been trying to get through all of the envelopes of mail we’ve tucked away and forgotten about. The biggest problem has been hospital bills. I’m constantly looking at something and going, “didn’t I pay this?” and then trying to track down bills that have already been paid and filed away, comparing it to the new bill. Seeing I paid for this thing listed on the bill, but not this other thing, but they apparently hadn’t processed the payment yet so they just tacked them together.  Admittedly, I also got to the point of just putting off a bill or two knowing they’d do this, so I also have bills where they are angry about Part A not being paid but are fine with Part B.

Today, trying to put it all right, I figured I would finally just set up online accounts for these things and sort it out that way. One hospital wouldn’t let me set up an account for my daughter. Another hospital couldn’t find the account information for my wife. Another hospital is apparently combining their system with their parent company and so their payment buttons just send you back to another page that tells you your payment options without giving you links to actually use any of those payment options.

And the date for their combining was 2017.

I think I finally figured out this last one by joining the patient network for the larger network their hospital is joining. But I still couldn’t pay my bill because I have to connect to my local health care provider first, which I assume is  someone sitting at the actual hospital who checks their email and then hits a button. I’m still waiting for that button to be clicked. If it isn’t up and running by tomorrow morning, I think I’ll probably just get in the car and drive over to the place and talk to an actual person.

Oh, and did I mention that this is the same hospital that on a separate bill to me had a “quick pay” option where I could just go in, type in one code, it would bring the bill up, and I paid it with our HSA card? Well, it is. Why my wife’s bill doesn’t have that code…I have no idea.

It’s not just the outrageous costs for health care that make me support the idea of a national health care system, but it’s getting rid of the anxiety and frustration of dealing with all of this bullshit.

Let it snow let it snow let it snow

January 22, 2019

I don’t know how much snow fell here over the weekend, but it seemed like around a foot. Just powdery fluff, so it wasn’t bad to shovel off the drive, at least not when I went out three different times as it was snowing to knock it down before it got too high. I was talking to the neighbor yesterday, as we stood out by the road, leaning on our shovels. We remembered getting snows like this all of the time, how winter would start around November and last until March or April, the lakes frozen solid for those months, so you could walk out, drill a hole in the ice and do some fishing.

I’ve never taken my step-son ice fishing, partly because he used to have some really nasty asthma problems. As he’s gotten older and those issues have waned a bit, though, we just don’t get the ice to go out. Some of my best memories of my dad is going ice fishing with him. Sitting on overturned five gallon pails on small ponds, surrounded by trees and quiet. An occasional deer stepping close to see what we are. My dad taking me through some weeds and showing me what to look for in their stalks to know what ones have a small grub hibernating inside that you can break open and use for bait. Chasing a glove blown by the wind all the way across a lake. My dad bopping his little Ford Fiesta back and forth against the walls of snow next to the road like a pin ball.

And I just don’t get to go with my kid because the weather just doesn’t cooperate, even now that his health does. Which is funny, considering schools are closed all over my neighborhood right now because it’s too cold. The timing of this post and that. But the forecast is also calling for forties and rain tomorrow, so….yeah. The ice isn’t going to stand a chance.

Your party didn’t betray you

January 16, 2019

I hate political discussions online and, oddly enough, it’s usually when it’s with other democrats. Why? Because once the party doesn’t pass some pet legislation, doesn’t meet some lousy level of “purity,” they start complaining about how the party has betrayed them. And they use this imagined sleight as their excuse to not vote, to not care, to vote for some loser third party candidate who is just siphoning needed votes away from people who might actually win, etc. At least with conservatives there is a certain level of understanding of where all of us stand. I’m a democrat. They’re insane. And we can go from there. Liberals finding every reason to excuse their lousy support for their party is just a whole different order.

I almost got into it again today with someone who believed that liberal voters not showing up and keeping Democrats in power in the house/senate was the fault of the party leaders and not the people who didn’t vote. No. You might disagree with some crap the party does but your not voting is entirely on you. Unless you’re black and showed up to a voting place only to stand in line for four hours before going home in disgust or just because you had to get to work. I don’t see a lot of minorities doing this sort of griping, though. It’s really just white people and the sense of privilege, the linger waft of the “why aren’t you catering to me” eau de toilette is strong.

You need to pick a side. I don’t care about how you don’t like the two party system, how you think something is unfair, how it doesn’t entirely represent you… . It doesn’t matter.  Nothing ever will. You pick a side. You get as involved as you want to get. And you support that side.  There was some hope with this last mid-term. Hoping for some more hope with the next one. And a lot less whining about how leaders betrayed us and choosing not to vote and then whining about the results of that, too. Pick your side. Support it.